phil1020%20second%20midtermanswers0 - PHIL 1020 Spring 2008...

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PHIL 1020 Spring 2008 Second Midterm Exam : Part I: (18 points, each question is worth 3 points) True or false? 1) Kant believes that we can know what our moral duties are on the basis of experience. False 2) For Kant someone who fails to take the means to her ends is behaving irrationally. True 3) According to Kant, a person’s rational power to choose her actions and her ends has absolute worth. True 4) Kant held that an action has moral worth only if it requires the overcoming of a countervailing inclination to do otherwise. False (Someone can act from duty even if, as a matter of fact, she enjoys doing the required action, as long as the motive of her action was the recognition that the action is her duty.) 5) According to Kant the moral worth of an action is determined solely by the maxim, or motive, of the action. True 6) On Kant’s view a categorical imperative says that you ought to do something only if you have certain desires. False Part II: (30 points, each question is worth 6 points) Answer all of the following questions : Note that the answers I give below may, in some cases, be fuller than they need to be for one to receive full credit for the answer . 1) Kant says at the beginning of his inquiry that he is looking for “the supreme principle of morality.” What does he mean by “the supreme principle of morality”? (Note that this question is not asking what he ends up identifying as the supreme principle of morality,
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but what features he thinks a principle must possess if it is to qualify as the supreme principle of morality.) The supreme principle of morality is the fundamental moral principle from which all moral rules and duties can be derived. This principle is absolutely necessary and absolutely universal: it is a principle that applies to all rational beings. And it is known a priori. 2) Describe Kant’s distinction between perfect (narrow) and imperfect (broad) duties. Give an example of each of these types of duty. A perfect duty specifies a particular type of action that you ought not to perform. An example is: Do not make false promises; Do not commit suicide. An imperfect duty specifies a particular end that you must aim to bring about, but leaves open what you should specifically do in order to bring about the end. Examples are: you ought to pursue the end of helping others in need, and the end of cultivating your talents. This duties leaves it open, for example, how you should help others or cultivate your talents, whom you should help, or which talents you should cultivate, when you should help or cultivate, etc. These are left to the discretion of each individual’s judgment. 3) Give an example that illustrates Kant’s view that when someone with a good will does
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course PHIL 1020 taught by Professor Hamawaki during the Spring '08 term at Auburn University.

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phil1020%20second%20midtermanswers0 - PHIL 1020 Spring 2008...

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